1. Preaching Library
The Preaching Library is a service that was started in July 2008. It is for ministers in Africa and Asia who did not have sufficient (or any) theological training, or who do not have resources for their sermon preparation. With this project our aim is to refocus ministers on Scripture. For this purpose we supply material that guides them back to the Scripture text, helps them to accurately read what the text is saying, and to understand the meaning of the Scripture passage.
We are not supplying these ministers with complete, worked out sermons.
We are not simply trying to make it easier for them, but to supply them with the necessary tools to study the Bible properly and thus improve the Scriptural quality of the sermons.
How does it work?
Every week we send a reminder to these ministers. They send us the details of which part of Scripture they have chosen as the subject of their sermon, and then we start searching for suitable material. This material is scanned and sent to each preacher via his post-box on the website. Suitable material does not only mean that it must be Scripturally sound but that the person to whom it is sent should also be taken into consideration. This means that we need to get quite close to these ministers to understand their working conditions, the languages that they speak, their levels of education and other relevant detail. We also receive requests for material catering for specific pastoral situations. Requests are received describing the specific need of the congregation, and from our side we try to suggest passages from Scripture to use and send material accordingly. This creates an enormous opportunity not only to assist but also to show how situations such as these are handled from a Scriptural and pastoral perspective.
Scripturally sound resources - far and wide!
The number of users is growing by the week. As we said, we have more than 10 300 ministers registered for this service at the moment. And they come from literally all over Africa and Asia, from more than 70 different countries. We are thankful that the Lord has made this possible and has helped us to do this work. Currently we have about 16,000 scanned documents for the Preaching Library and the number is growing daily. It is the main function of our theologians to find and assess this material. All material is checked to make sure it is Scripturally sound and of good quality.
We are also excited about the fact that we are reaching so many ministers that do not have a confessional background. Naturally it was the original intention to focus on ministers within such churches, but the current situation gives us a golden opportunity to also teach others to work with Scripture in a responsible way. It is important for us to reach as many of these ministers as possible and to let them discover the doctrines of Scripture ‘from the inside’. After this we can only pray and let the Holy Spirit do His work.
The French Preaching Library
In 2011 we started preparations to cater for French speaking ministers in Africa. Since we did not have a French speaking co-ordinator, it was not possible for us to launch this project. Through the wonderful providence of God he brought us in contact with Rev. Paulin Bedard and the Église Chrétienne Réformée de Beauce in 2013. We are thankful that we can work together to make this service available to ministers in Africa! To visit the French website, click here
Examples of the situation of our users:
- One Baptist minister in Zambia – one of our first subscribers – walks every week for half an hour to get to an Internet cafe to download the material that was sent to him. He then sends us the details of what he needs for next week and walks back.
- Another minister, Anglican, cannot receive the Internet connection from where he is living. He travels for 30 minutes to an area where he can receive the signal and with his laptop downloads the material send to him. (We have become aware of this situation because he asked us to send it to somebody else because he was sick. This person had to bring the material to him!)
- A theological student was very surprised when his lecturer asked him how he got hold of this exceptional material for his project as no such material was available from their own limited library.
Some comments from our users:
The material was very helpful and gave me an indepth understanding of the Bible passages. It also helps me to become a more informed preacher, dividing the truth of God correctly.Thank you very much for your support in this regard. It is highly appreciated!
CA (Anglican church)
Your material are a very good eye opener for me and to those of my fallow saints to who I preach. Thank so much! God be with you.
RS (Church: The Holy Ghost Gang)
Please I do not have any literatures. How can you help me to have them. In this country the young Ministers are not previlaged to have these books to help them study and that is why most young Pastors are not fulfiled. hence kindly help my handicapcy.
IU (Living Word Gospel Mission, Nigeria – Pentecostal)
This material is also helping me to improve my own spiritual life.
All literature was very good and used to the fullest. Thank you
D G (Anglican churches)
Thanks so very much. These are great resources! This is what I have been looking for so long now!
EU (Christ Chapel, Pentecostal)
It must be obvious that with some of these ministers our weekly contact has become very personal, contacts that will intensify in the future. Maybe opportunities will present themselves whereby we could be of assistance in other fields as well, maybe even creating possibilities for further studies. We do not yet know in which direction the Lord will lead us.
Come see for yourself:
Although the Preaching Library is only accessible to registered users in Africa and Asia, you can have a look at how it works. Click here, login as “test”, and use the password “test01”. Under the heading “Available documents” you will see a few random files as an example of how we help the ministers. Unfortunately you cannot request literature as a “test”-user.
You can see the total number of users for the Preaching Library on the frontpage. Just click here.
2. Timothy Project
The Timothy Project is an extension of the Preaching Library. With this project we want to cater for all the other literature and help the preacher needs in his ministry. Where the Preaching Library focuses on help with the preaching of every week, the Timothy Project wants to help with all the other theological topics (doctrine, ethics, pastoral etc.).
Since 2008 we have received hundreds of requests a month for this kind of material from all the different users of the Preaching Library. In other words, users just started asking for more than merely the material for sermon preparation that we provided, without us asking or making such a service available! As you can see, this project is not the result of a dream, but has been born out of actual requests from individuals and organisations.
In 2012 we have made a start with the Timothy Project. As you can imagine, this project is so much bigger than the Preaching Library. Material on thousands of topics has to be found, tested and made available. Since 2012 the project has been growing steadily, but we are grateful that Rev. Eugene Viljoen has been working on this project since 2014 (with help from the Canadian Reformed churches and Reformed Faith and Life). His full-time involvement with this work has made a tremendous difference in our capabilities to help the ministers in Africa and Asia with this type of material.
There is still quite a lot of work to be done on this project. We also still need to purchase a lot of books for this project. We are committed to making this project work - to its fullest possible capacity! By full capacity we understand the possibility to give at least a few good and Scripturally sound articles/chapters on each Theological subject and issue, for all the different educational levels of the users. We really want to function as a full library for our users in the third-world-countries, within the limits of copyright laws.
For this project it is also of the utmost importance that our own physical library has all the Scripturally sound resources available. Please consider making a book donation. On this web page you will find a list of the books we have available currently (coming soon!). Please contact us if you have any useful books that you can add to our collection. The books can be in English, Dutch, French or Afrikaans.
We really do believe that this project can make a tremendous difference to ministers and students in third-world countries. We have received very positive feedback from the ministers and theological institutions that we have been helping!
We are waiting on the Lord, in the firm belief that He will show us a way in which we can be of even more service to these people. By God's grace this project should gain more momentum in the near future.
3. Christian Library
The Christian Library is a website. Our motto for this project is: A Scripturally sound library in every home. This webpage was also started with the situation of the third-world countries in mind: everyone who wants to study the Word of God and what it means for one’s life should have the opportunity to do so. With this website we aim to reach not only ministers but all Christians, and all articles in the Christian Study Library are public and accessible to all.
With the level of education improving in many of the third-world countries, it becomes possible to reach and help not only the ministers but many more of the “ordinary” Christians. To our mind, this could be a tremendously important factor contributing to the church in Africa and Asia’s growth in spiritual depth.
The type of material
Since the development of the Preaching Library, we have come to realize how many Scripturally sound articles (Popular and Semi-popular) are being produced worldwide and disappear again with the periodical in which they are published. Some people keep those magazines but only few keep indices of what is being published in which number. The result is that most of that work is lost after a period of time.
This is a very big project, and we are thankful for the fantastic cooperation we have received from many authors. We will also make use of other websites that have good material available.
Accessibility of material
All articles are placed in a category, but they are also given keywords. These keywords make it possible to search meaningfully on a microlevel, and find all related articles. This is especially important in a third-world context. We also have to cater for people with limited computer skills.
Like all other material from the Reformational Study Centre, all articles are read and tested, not only with regard to suitability but also as to whether the article is Scripturally sound.
Another main and very important component of this site is that it will form the basis for interaction regarding the Timothy project.
We started this part of the project in 2012 and have more than 15 000 articles available for public usage.
4. Christelike Media
While we have a strong focus on Africa and Asia, it does not mean that we want to walk away from our own situation in South Africa. In our own country there are still many of God’s children who have not forgotten what it means to live according to Scripture. With liberal tendencies within the different churches in this country, a lot of people have become very lonely by being obedient. We want to reach and help these people!
This website has the same motto as the Christian Library, but is in the Afrikaans language.
In Afrikaans we are much more limited in good material for a website, therefore we have a specific focus translating articles form Dutch and English into Afrikaans. We have permission from quite a lot of pastors to translate and use their work.
The webpage of the “Christelike Media” also links to our monthly magazine, Vox Viva (“Living Voice”). Some of these articles are written by South African ministers, but most are translated from Dutch or English.
This magazine is well received within the borders of this country and is giving us a tremendous lot of contacts in South Africa.
The Education section
In South Africa there are Christian schools, Christian home schooling and even some public schools who are asking for assistance in building the Christian character of their school. In this Education section they can find articles on all different aspects of Christian education, as well as a full Christian curriculum. We are partners of Aros in this wonderful venture, and they are actively promoting this content around the country. We thank the Lord for the wonderful opportunities to work on the Christian education of South Africa!